Well, We've Done All This Research, Now What?

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From Bolt|Peters' User Research Friday, November 2010. Steve Portigal and Julie Norvaisas, show you how designers and researchers can work with user research data to create action for businesses. One of the most persistent factors limiting the impact of user research in business is that projects often stop with a cataloging findings and implications rather than generating opportunities that directly enable the findings. As designers increasingly become involved in using contextual research to inform their design work, they may find themselves holding onto a trove of raw data but with little awareness of how to turn it into design.

The emphasis in this workshop (including a pre-work exercise in the days and weeks leading up to User Research Friday) will be on strengthening the creative link between "data" and "action." By the end, participants will have developed a range of high-level concepts that respond to a business problem and integrate a fresh, contextual understanding of that problem.

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  • 5 minutes Introduction 9:00 - 9:0525 minutes Fieldwork and Synthesis Process 9:05 - 9:3040 minutes Fieldwork Exercise 9:30 – 10:1040 minutes Synthesis Exercise 10:10 – 10:5020 minutes Ideation Process 10:50 – 11:1040 minutes Ideation Exercise 11:10 - 11:5010 minutes Wrap Up11:50 - 12:00
  • Try multiple viewpoints (i.e., customer vs. worker)Give it timeAllow yourself to be confused for a whileIdentify what you want to know more aboutWhy?
  • Refer to the homework assignment – about gentrification and redevelopment. Refer back to business initiative.This is not an exercise that takes place in your head. Think aloud protocol. Get it OUT.Let's imagine we're all working on a new project for GeNtrfY, a company that helps revitalize neighborhoods in cities across North America. They are looking ahead to the redevelopment of some areas in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood
  • Refer to the homework assignment – about gentrification and redevelopment. Refer back to business initiative.This is not an exercise that takes place in your head. Think aloud protocol. Get it OUT.Let's imagine we're all working on a new project for GeNtrfY, a company that helps revitalize neighborhoods in cities across North America. They are looking ahead to the redevelopment of some areas in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood
  • Refer to the homework assignment – about gentrification and redevelopment. Refer back to business initiative.This is not an exercise that takes place in your head. Think aloud protocol. Get it OUT.Let's imagine we're all working on a new project for GeNtrfY, a company that helps revitalize neighborhoods in cities across North America. They are looking ahead to the redevelopment of some areas in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood
  • Well, We've Done All This Research, Now What?

    1. 1. 1 Well, We've Done All This Research, Now What?
    2. 2. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleAgenda 9:00-10:50 Turning field data into insights Introduction 05 minutes Observation Process and Exercise 50 minutes Synthesis Process and Exercise 55 minutes 10:50-12:00 Turning insights into solutions Ideation Process 20 minutes Ideation Exercise 40 minutes Wrap Up 10 minutes
    3. 3. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Introduction
    4. 4. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Launch What to make or do Refine & prototype Iterate & improve Typical development lifecycle
    5. 5. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Launch What to make or do Refine & prototype Iterate & improve Take a fresh look at people Where we work
    6. 6. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Iterate & improve Use existing ideas as hypotheses Where we work Launch What to make or do Refine & prototype
    7. 7. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Iterate & improve Where we work Launch What to make or do Refine & prototype Is it working like we hoped?
    8. 8. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Iterate & improve History provides context to explore new ideas Where we work Launch What to make or do Refine & prototype
    9. 9. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Development Synthesis Ideation Fieldwork Synthesis & ideation process
    10. 10. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Detailed solutions SolutionsStrategies Insights Opportunities Analysis Synthesis Ideation Synthesis & ideation process
    11. 11. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Cultural data from fieldwork Case study: iPod accessories
    12. 12. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleCase study: iPod accessories URF2010 12 Portigal
    13. 13. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Observation
    14. 14. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleHomework Check-in Your mission: Dedicate at least half an hour to walking around and observing people in your neighborhood Who was able to do the assignment? Was this anyone’s first experience doing observational fieldwork? Is there anyone who has not done user or observational research in the field? Props to Jennifer Lum and Nick Leggett!
    15. 15. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleMethods & inputs (not today…) Generally we integrate methods, aka triangulation We choose, mash-up, or create methods based on the problem. Today we’re doing an abbreviated version of observational fieldwork URF2010 15 Portigal
    16. 16. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleObserving Notice what… people, places Notice how… processes, sequences, interactions Suspend your point of view Avoid conclusions Allow confusion Do it “out loud” Steve, practicing his “noticing.” You can tell because he looks like he may be a little confused.
    17. 17. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style You’re observing people within their culture. Notice how cultural artifacts reflect and define the environment; and reveal what is “normal” Normal isn’t “right or wrong” – it’s the set of background rules that define much of what people choose or ignore Media Products Advertisements Street Culture Trends/ Fads Cultural context What are these gentlemen trying to get you to buy?
    18. 18. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleCultural context URF2010 18 Portigal
    19. 19. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleCultural context URF2010 19 Portigal
    20. 20. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Synthesis naturally begins in the field • Resist meaning (for now) • Focus on observations • Get the detail Create time to talk after each fieldwork experience • Over multiple sessions and participants, over time Write up real-time summaries for the team, ASAP In-field debriefing (not today…) Fieldwork highlights captured in the wild.
    21. 21. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Your mission: Imagine you are working on a new project for GeNtrfY, a company looking for ideas to redevelop SoMa Form groups of 2 – 3. Mix it up • Wander and observe people, interactions and environments • Do it out loud! • Capture (photos, notes) • What, who, where, when? • Why, how? This is not a design audit of signage or merchandise displays Exercise: Explore!
    22. 22. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleNeighborhood observations: Noe Valley URF2010 22 Portigal
    23. 23. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleNeighborhood observations: Noe Valley URF2010 23 Portigal
    24. 24. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleNeighborhood observations: Montara URF2010 24 Portigal
    25. 25. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Be back by 9:55 Exercise: Explore!
    26. 26. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Synthesis
    27. 27. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Sense-making through an iterative process of refining gathered data Early, Informal data in your head First, process the experience you had collecting data • Refer to debriefs and conversations • Articulate and identify themes • Outcome: Topline Report Process-based, Formal heavy lifting Then, process the data itself • Individual and group analysis • Pattern-identification, clustering, models, frameworks • Outcome: Opportunities What is synthesis? Review, Refine, Rinse, Repeat
    28. 28. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style After fieldwork, collate reflections and quickly externalize a starter set of 5 to 10 thematic areas based on •Pre-identified areas of inquiry •Refer to debriefs and conversations from the field •New patterns that we observed Identify interesting areas; acknowledge that you don’t understand details yet, identify questions Outcome: Topline Report This sheds light on what excites the team and the stakeholders; brings focus to the next stage of synthesis All right researchers… what did you see? Early, informal synthesis (data in your head)
    29. 29. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Go back through your raw data very closely to move beyond the Topline Report Individually (heads-down) and collaboratively (heads-up) develop clusters, identify patterns, collate and refine findings • Process maps, eco-systems • Frameworks, models • Design implications i.e.: What did other public announcements in the study look like? What are the layers of information and cultural context? What form factors are favored? Why? Process-based, formal synthesis (heavy lifting)
    30. 30. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Heads down! • Video • Photos, field artifacts • Transcripts Transcript analysis • Make marginal notes on patterns, quotes, or what seems interesting • Ask yourself questions; give labels; propose solutions • Don’t worry about implications, be descriptive and reactive Individual analysis (not today…)
    31. 31. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style If you can’t get transcripts, watch video (even sped-up) and in near real-time jot down the rough narrative of the session • When you make an observation in your own voice, do something typographic to call it out (ALL CAPS, highlight, etc.) Individual analysis (not today…)
    32. 32. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Heads up! Tell stories, narrate highlights, give each its due. Use notes, transcripts, and other artifacts Voice and document reactions, ahas, support and questions • Clustering • White-board notes Develop a new shared POV, beyond “findings” Outcome: Opportunities No discussion of the synthesis process would be complete without a reference to Post-It ® Notes Collaborative analysis
    33. 33. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Keep the human touch in communication Allow people to move seamlessly between places Allow people to integrate seamlessly across different devices and systems Opportunities are not • A reporting of “interesting findings” • A list of solutions Opportunities are • Change we can envision based on what we heard and observe • About people • In the context of but reframing the business questions • Generative, inviting many solutions Developing opportunities What should we do?
    34. 34. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Topline Collaborative Analysis Opportunities 10 minutes 15 minutes 15 minutes Keep the human touch in communication Allow people to mov e seamlessly between places Allow people to integrate seamlessly across different devices and systems Summary of synthesis exercises Externalize the data in your head Share the heavy lifting Determine generative directions
    35. 35. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style After fieldwork, join forces with another group • Quickly review what happened (today and from your homework) and what you saw. Collate reflections. Resist the urge to move too far towards conclusions • Don’t refer to notes or photos yet • Keep your own experiences, existing hypotheses, cultural clichés, etc. in the background • Develop 3 - 5 themes as a “Topline Report” sketching out the big takeaways, leading into further synthesis • Don’t wordsmith Exercise: Develop a topline (10 minutes) All right researchers… what did you see?
    36. 36. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Evolve your “Topline Report;” flesh out and enrich themes • Write your themes and put them up • Leave space for new ones too • Now (!) tell stories from the field (from your neighborhood and today), using photos, notes and memory Rethink the relationships between the themes, pick your strongest themes and write a sentence with a point of view • Go from “Graffiti abounds” and “Teen gangs hanging out” to “Public spaces in the neighborhood are used to communicate identity and belongingness” Exercise: Develop findings (10 minutes)
    37. 37. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Build on your findings • Start each opportunity with a verb Opportunities are not • A reporting of “interesting findings” • A list of solutions Opportunities are • Change we can envision based on what we heard and observe • About people • In the context of but reframing the business questions • Generative, inviting many solutions Exercise: Identify opportunities (10 minutes) What should we do? Keep the human touch in communication Allow people to move seamlessly between places Allow people to integrate seamlessly across different devices and systems What should we do? Keep the human touch in communication Allow people to move seamlessly between places Allow people to integrate seamlessly across different devices and systems
    38. 38. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleExercise: Pitch it back!
    39. 39. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Ideation
    40. 40. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style A simple step moves you from Opportunities to Ideation Questions, reframing them into actionable language How can we Ideate! keep the human touch in communication allow people to move seamlessly between places allow people to integrate seamlessly across different devices and systems How can we How can we Ideation questions
    41. 41. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Solutions exist across many different business areas Functionality Visual design Marketing Architecture Public Services Partnerships Events Software Form factor Packaging Policy Retail design Even if you are unlikely to impact certain business areas, it’s crucial that you set that constraint aside for ideation Scope of solutions How many business and civic areas to impact can you spot in this picture?
    42. 42. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Responses to any ideation question can lead in different strategic directions Finding: Students have to smoke outside, but they get cold and wet Opportunity: Improve the experience of students who smoke Ideation Question: How can we improve the experience of students who smoke? Developing strategies Create a protected environment for smoking Support underlying needs and behavior by embracing the finding Eliminate smoking Question needs and behavior, seek change by challenging the finding
    43. 43. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Finding: Students have to smoke outside, but they get cold and wet Opportunity: Improve the experience of students who smoke Ideation Question: How can we improve the experience of students who smoke? Strategies Solutions Strategies can inspire solutions Create a protected environment for smoking Facilities Build a pavilion Admin Allocate interior room Partners Align with nearby cafe Eliminate smoking Online Smoking cessation games Admin Ban smoking Partners Stop smoking coaches
    44. 44. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Finding: Students have to smoke outside, but they get cold and wet Opportunity: Improve the experience of students who smoke Ideation Question: How can we improve the experience of students who smoke? Solutions can suggest strategies Create a protected environment for smoking Eliminate smoking Admin Allocate interior room Admin Ban smoking Strategies Solutions
    45. 45. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style This is a collective, out-loud activity! Talk, listen, build on each other’s ideas • Don’t worry about a “bad” idea… it may lead to a “good” idea Don’t correct; generate alternatives • “Yes, and…” This is a visual activity! Sketch, draw… • Quantity over quality; go quickly Individual ideas matter less than what the collective produces overall • Channel your inner Locutus of Borg Lemons provided, if necessary Collaborative generation
    46. 46. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleStuck? Come up with bad ideas • Immoral • Dangerous • Bad for business
    47. 47. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Questions Business Areas Ideation and Sharing 2 minutes 3 minutes 35 minutes How can we Ideate! keep the human touch in communication allow people to move seamlessly between places allow people to integrate seamlessly across different devices and systems How can we How can we Summary of ideation exercises Shift to “How can we…?” Figure out where we can play Remember, “Yes, and…”
    48. 48. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Apply How can we…? to each of your Opportunities How can we Ideate! keep the human touch in communication allow people to move seamlessly between places allow people to integrate seamlessly across different devices and systems How can we How can we Exercise: Ideation questions (2 minutes)
    49. 49. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Let’s collectively list possible business areas to design for • Think about whatever GeNtrFy could do or affect Use this list as a starting point Functionality Visual design Marketing Architecture Public Services Partnerships Events Software Form factor Packaging Policy Retail design Incentives Exercise: Business areas (3 minutes) How many business and civic areas to impact can you spot in this picture?
    50. 50. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Use your ideation questions to generate strategies and solutions • Out loud • Visual • Collaborative Consider the range of possible business areas Bounce back and forth between generating strategies and solutions Most ideas will not turn out to be winners; the goal is to practice connecting research data to solutions Exercise: Ideation (20 minutes) Apply lemon as needed.
    51. 51. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Rapidly align on your team’s best ideas and message Choose a messenger Exercise: Prepare to share (5 minutes) The wise team will choose a bold, expressive spokesperson
    52. 52. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleExercise: Pitch it back! (10 minutes)
    53. 53. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Wrap it up
    54. 54. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style One new thing I learned today is… I’ve got a tip (that you didn’t cover) that works well for me… Yeah, I’ve got a question for ya…
    55. 55. URF2010 ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Portigal Consulting www.portigal.com Steve @steveportigal steve@portigal.com 415-894-2001 Julie julie@portigal.com Wyatt wyatt@portigal.com Thank you!

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